Eiga Sai just wrapped up in Cebu last August 10 with the opening –slash-closing movie: Homeland. Watched by many Japanese culture enthusiasts; I can say the event was a successful one.
August 9: I had a chance to watch the movie since it was my off. I was excited to watch Like Father, Like Son. After reading a couple of reviews about the movie I was intrigued about the story line. I arrived in Ayala Center around 3:30 pm and was surprised to see how crowded the mall was. It was a Saturday, but I am not really an Ayala kid so I was a bit surprise to see such crowd on a weekend, especially in a mall like Ayala (some people call it as the branded or expensive mall).
This is my first time to attend a Japanese Film Festival so I was a bit naïve of what to do. I went straight to the ticketing booth with a long queue of movie goers. Good thing the security guards are around so I asked first the guard where to buy a ticket for Eiga Sai. He was familiar with the term and he told me to go to Cinema 4 which is just located beside the ticketing booth. There was also a long queue at the cinema so I asked another guard thinking I would need to buy a ticket first before lining up. The guard didn’t quiet understood “Eiga Sai” but an elder man told him: “Ang Japanese gani.” (The Japanese one). He then told me to just line up. I followed but wondered whether it’d be best to ask if I need a ticket or something to present upon entering the cinema. But I didn’t bother to ask again. I like to be stupid most of the times.
I was probably the 50th person on the line and a couple of more people followed few minutes after. We were able to enter the cinema around twenty minutes before the start of the movie. I couldn’t remember exactly how long did I stand in the queue. I was so excited that I thought I stood there for hours.
Wolf Children was the first show and it didn’t fail me. I like the story. There were a lot of people at that time and the only seats that weren’t occupied are the first and second rows. Kids and Kids at heart filled the cinema. I was alone. Have I already mentioned that? I was alone. Yes, but this isn’t an issue to me because I honestly prefer watching a movie alone.
After the first show I sat still on the chair and thought of getting a food to munch since there was about a forty-five minute interval after the first show. But when I’m about to reach the cinema door, I was surprised to the very long queue, longer than the first one. I stepped back and was about to go back to my seat when I heard one of the organizers instructing a staff to ask people to go out first. I thought, we’re only allowed to watch one movie. So I went out following a group of friends. I overheard one said that he’ll buy snacks for them as the others line up. Again, I didn’t bother to ask one of the staff if we’re still allowed to watch the second show. I went out of the cinema and followed some people whom I know watched the first movie. They lined up. I followed. I was having doubts though, but I shook that away. How will I know if I don’t give it a shot, ne?
I thought I could not be able to watch the movie. Thankfully, I did. And only I realize they actually have to re-count the number of audience, that’s why the first batch had to go out after the show. I could say, Like Father, Like Son had the most number of audiences on that day.
August 10: I dragged my KPop sisters to Ayala to attend the event. This time we were too early before the show started. The first show was Tamako in Moratorium. We were all laughing because we had a huge problem: we felt like there’s something more we have to know. Like what happened to Tamako. Did she really went to Tokyo and finally got a job? What happened to her father? Did he re-marry? It was only until then when we realized that the movie didn’t quiet had a focus. Neither her relationship to her father or her plans about her life. She graduated college, went home, ate, attempted to find a job, discovered that her father was dating a woman, tried to ruin his love affair, and met a boy who had a girlfriend and broke up at the end of the movie. My sister even said: “She basically just ate and slept the entire movie.”
We were relieved by Homeland. Indeed, the movie was very nice it deserved the International Berlin award. We love Jiro’s character. He reminds us how people should love and never forget our roots.
Overall, my experience was great. My vote goes to Like Father, Like Son. It exceeded the expectations I had. I really cried and felt like crying even after watching the movie. I didn’t care about the people beside me. They don’t know me anyway, why worry? Hahaha! It was a very lovely and heart-warming story. Not to mention how handsome Fukuyama Masaharu is. 😉
The staff too were very nice. They greet the audiences with a smile. One of the organizers who stayed near the cinema door smiles too. Makes me think he’s not a bossy boss. Hahaha!
Stay tuned for the fan girl’s list about Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno.